time a command
time [ -p ] command [
argument ... ]
The given command is executed with the specified
arguments; on completion, time prints the
Programs which execute a large number of system calls (for example,
performing input and output) will spend a greater proportion of time
in system mode than programs which spend most of their time number
crunching or character processing. As the system becomes more
heavily loaded with processes, the total elapsed time will grow
faster than the user or system times for a given command.
time elapsed during the command,
time spent executing the command in user mode,
time spent executing the command in system mode.
User and system times are reported in seconds and the elapsed time
in minutes and seconds in
The times are printed on the standard output. The percentage of
total CPU time taken by the command is also reported. The
command time used with no argument returns the times for
the current csh.
All times are reported in minutes and seconds on the standard error
All times are reported in seconds on the standard error output when
using the /bin/time version of this command.
The -p option causes timing output to be printed in
seconds with each value appearing on a new line. For example:
$ time command
real elapsed time
user user elapsed time
sys system elapsed time
The exit status returned by time is as follows:
An error occurred in the time utility
The utility specified to be timed was found but could not be
The utility specified to be timed could not be found
This command is built into csh and ksh.
The -p option is only available in the /bin/time
versions of time.
time is conformant with:
ISO/IEC DIS 99452:1992, Information technology Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) Part 2: Shell and Utilities (IEEE Std 1003.21992);
AT&T SVID Issue 2;
X/Open CAE Specification, Commands and Utilities, Issue 4, 1992.
© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003